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Deaths & near Death accidents, poor Signage installation

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Post Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:03 am

Deaths & near Death accidents, poor Signage installation

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Moment grandmother was almost killed as she walked down high street and was hit by four-stone sign knocking her unconscious

This is the moment an 80-year-old grandmother was nearly killed when a shop sign fell 8ft, knocking her unconscious as she strolled down a busy high street. The four-stone (25kg) sign broke free from the fascia of a Mountain Warehouse store in Falmouth, Cornwall, and landed on Patricia Tutton - who suffered a fractured cheekbone and spinal damage. Three years on the company that fitted the heavy sign - New Life Signs Installations, of Swindon, Wiltshire - has only been given a police caution for its sloppy work that led to Mrs Tutton’s injuries.

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She said her wounds wrecked her quality of life, leaving her unable to drive and barely able to dress herself. She added that doctors told her if the sign had fallen on a child it would have killed them. Mrs Tutton said: ‘I can only remember walking down Market Street and the next thing I knew I was in hospital. I don’t remember anything else.

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‘My face was black and blue, I had four fractures around my right eye, a cut on my eye and my head and quite a dent on my head. My spine has got a kink in it.’ Cornwall Council found that New Life Signs Installations had not fulfilled its basic duty of care to the public, with investigators discovering that the sign had been poorly fitted. They also found the fixings used to attach it to the store’s flimsy MDF (medium-density fibreboard) frontage were inadequate.

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Outdoor clothing chain Mountain Warehouse was not implicated in the accident on November 29, 2011, which saw the sign fall on her head. It left Mrs Tutton unable to do her activities such as bowls, gardening and ballroom dancing. She said: ‘I was very fit and active. I used to be a busy and active person, which has changed dramatically. I feel like a different woman. ‘My life has come to a complete standstill. I feel lucky to be alive. I’ve still got my family around and I can still see my grandchildren.’

Lee McDowell, senior environmental health officer at Cornwall Council, said: ‘I was shocked at how poorly the sign was fitted, and it was only luck that prevented it from killing someone. ‘You didn’t need to be an experienced sign fitter to realise screwing a heavy sign to a thin fascia board made up of predominantly MDF was not going to stay in place for long and would present a danger to passers-by.

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Mrs Tutton lives in a £280,000 detached house with her partner Eddy Tatton in the village of Mabe Burnthouse, four miles west of Falmouth. The mother of three, a former domestic supervisor at a hospital, said of the sign-making firm escaping with just a caution: ‘I don't think a caution is enough. I'm surprised they got away with that.

‘We could have been dealing with a death had a child been walking along the pavement. That sign was solid wood. The ambulance man said I was lucky to be alive.’

Mrs Tutton is awaiting the outcome of a claim for compensation. Cornwall Council said that New Life Signs Installations was ordered to pay its legal costs as well as accepting a caution. New Life Signs Installations is a business run from a £170,000 semi-detached bungalow in Swindon. It has one director listed in records - Albertus Viljoen, a 37-year-old man originally from South Africa. A spokesman for the company declined to comment when contacted by MailOnline today.


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Post Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:04 am

Deaths & near Death accidents, poor Signage installation

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A sign at Birmingham airport, estimated to weigh 300 to 400 pounds, killed a boy, 10, and injured his mother and two siblings when it fell on them. "The whole thing flipped down on those kids," said someone who was nearby when it happened.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A sign at the Birmingham airport fell on a family Friday, killing a 10-year boy and injuring other family members. Deputy Coroner Derrick Perryman said 10-year-old Luke Bresette was pronounced dead at Children’s of Alabama. Two other children were being treated there, and the mother, Heather Bresette, was taken to University Hospital, where spokeswoman Nicole Wyatt said she was in critical condition. The coroner’s office and the hospital did not disclose the family’s hometown. Firefighters estimated the arrival-departure sign weighed 300 to 400 pounds.

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A maintenance worker sweeps up debris beside a sign that killed a child.

Albert Osorio, 46, of Birmingham told al.com that he was close by when the sign fell. He said a loud boom was followed by screams from the family and witnesses. Then he and five other passers-by lifted off the sign.

“The whole thing flipped down on those kids. It took all of us here to stand it up,” he said.

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A sign at the Birmingham airport fell on a family Friday, killing a 10-year boy and injuring other family members.

Airport spokeswoman Toni Herrera-Bast said officials aren’t sure how the sign fell. She said it happened about 1:30 p.m. Friday in a pre-security area of the airport. The airport continued operating while rescue workers tended to the family. The airport completed the first phase of a more than $201 million modernization effort and opened newly renovated concourses last week. Mayor William Bell issued a statement saying the city offered its full support to the Airport Authority in investigating the accident.

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Post Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:10 am

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Man treated in hospital after being hit by 'Feeling under the weather?' NHS sign which was ripped off wall of chemist during storm

A man was taken to hospital yesterday after being hit on the head by an NHS sign saying 'Feeling under the weather?' which was ripped off the wall during a storm. The middle-aged victim had just pointed out to a chemist that the hoarding was insecure when a gust of wind blew it away from the building and onto his head. He suffered a 'nasty gash' and had to be taken to hospital for treatment following the incident in Leicester.

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The solid wood sign, which advises people to see their GP if they are 'feeling under the weather', was attached to the outside of a pharmacist, the Leicester Mercury reported. The man had noticed that it was flapping about in winds which reached nearly 60mph, and went into the shop to inform the owner. Witnesses said that as the pair were standing outside the sign came loose and crashed down onto the man, narrowly missing the shopkeeper.

'As the two of them were standing there it came down and hit him - it missed her by inches,' a bystander said 'She was very shaken afterwards and very lucky, too.'

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Other passers-by said the sign made such a loud noise they thought it might have been a car crash. The victim was taken to the Leicester Royal Infirmary. His current condition is not known.

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Post Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:14 am

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Shop hoarding that fell off betting shop killing man in his 20s 'came loose after pigeon spikes were fitted'

A betting shop sign that killed a pedestrian when it ripped off in high winds may have been weakened after maintenance carried out before Christmas, it was claimed today. The sign on the William Hill betting shop crashed down on top of the passerby in Camden Road, north London, just before 5pm last night splitting his head open. The victim, in his 20s and from New Zealand, suffered a cardiac arrest. He was treated at the scene but died later in University College Hospital.

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Hoarding was put up around a bookmakers in north London today

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The bookmakers was closed today as health and safety officials started to inspect the scene for clues

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It is feared that the hoarding may have fallen from the front of the building after coming loose in high winds

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Flowers were today left at the scene of the tragic accident as it emerged maintenance work may have taken place on the building before Christmas

Friends at the scene in Camden left an emotional tribute to the victim, named on a written tribute as 'Jacko'. The group of three women and a man left a card and flowers in front of the Camden William Hill store this afternoon about 2.30pm
Visibly distraught, the group also left a New Zealand flag as a tribute to their friend, who suffered a cardiac arrest and died shortly after being rushed to hospital.

The moving written tribute, left amongst other bouquets of flowers at the scene, said: 'This is not how it was supposed to go. We had so many good plans and so many good memories. I promise never to forget you.' Today pensioner Dave Preston who lives above the betting shop claimed the fascia board could have been weakened by pigeon spikes put up there. The 68-year-old, who has lived above the shop for 45 years, said: 'I was in the kitchen and I heard what sounded like an explosion, I didn't know what to think, I thought it could have been the gas.

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Police have cordoned off the scene and are currently carrying out an investigation

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Shock: Police cordon off the area when minutes earlier paramedics had battled to revive the man crushed by falling debris as he walked

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Investigation:The scene outside the Camden Road William Hill betting shop, after a man was killed by a falling sign

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The man was treated at the scene in Camden Road for a head injury and transferred to hospital where he later died, London Ambulance Service said

'I looked outside and saw this poor guy lying there. He must have been about 26, he was lying motionless, his head all open, the blood was terrible. 'I just felt sorry for his parents or girlfriend or maybe wife I don't know. It is just tragic to think about, such a young life.' Other witnesses have also spoken of the tragic scene.
Ken Osbourne, 28, who works in Woody Grill next to the betting shop said: 'I saw the guy lying down in the road, covered in blood. 'The main impact was clearly on his head. the blood was mainly around his head. I saw them trying to resuscitate him in the back of the ambulance.' Shopkeeper Fazle Elahi, who works opposite the scene and was on the scene to witness the aftermath, told the Camden New Journal: 'The ambulance came really quickly. It looked like the William Hill sign had hit him. A woman at the scene was crying. He wasn't moving.'

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Cordoned off: Police are now carrying out a detailed forensic examination of the scene in Camden Road, north London, for clues about what caused the fatal incident

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Distraught: Flowers have been laid at the scene where the young man was killed by a falling shop hoarding in Camden Road

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Horror: Paramedics fought to save the man after he was hit by a sign from a William Hill shop, pictured, in Camden, north London

Ioana Nita, 21, was working at a nearby restaurant when the accident happened at 4.55pm.

'I'm shocked. We heard a very loud noise. Me and a colleague went outside and saw the guy lying on the floor,' she said.

'Five guys picked up the sign and it was put on the side. His hands were covered in blood and he wasn't moving.' 'Lots of people were in a circle around him, then the ambulance arrived and they were trying to get him back to life, pressing on his heart.'

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Tragic: The young victim was walking past this William Hill bookmakers, pictured with its hoarding in place, in Camden Road, north London

She added: 'I just want to go home and cry. I don't know how that can happen. The sign is huge. Everyone said he was just walking past the shop.' 'I cross that way five times a day. That could have been me.'

A nearby worker added: 'It was the centre of Camden during the rush hour. It's a horrible day, raining and windy. It looks like the entire front facade of William Hill was blown off and hit the man.'

Pictures of the scene show the twisted large blue frontage of the shop stretching across the pavement. A London Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: 'An ambulance crew who were close to the incident were on the scene very quickly with another medic in responder car.

'Extensive efforts were made to resuscitate him both at the scene and on way to hospital. He was taken to University College Hospital as a priority on blue lights.'
A Met Police spokesman said: 'Officers and London Ambulance Service attended and the man, believed aged in his 20s, has been taken to a central London hospital for treatment - he died there a short while later.

'At this early stage it appears the man received his injuries after being struck by sign or board which has fallen from a building.'

Police have cordoned off the scene and are currently carrying out an investigation.
Camden Council has also confirmed it is launching an investigation into what caused the sign to fall. Camden Council's cabinet member for community safety, Councillor Abdul Hai, said: 'This is tragic incident and our thoughts are with the victim’s family at this sad time.'

'Our health and safety and building control teams attended the scene immediately to take the necessary action to make sure there was no further danger to the public from the building.

'We are helping the police secure the site so that we can gather evidence as part of our formal investigation which starts tomorrow.'

A William Hill spokeswoman said: 'There is an urgent investigation under way and we are still establishing facts and liaising with authorities.'

A spokeswoman from the New Zealand High Commission confirmed the man, who is yet to be formally identified, was a New Zealand national. She said the commission had been in touch with his family back home who had asked for privacy.

'We are aware of the death. The High Commission has been providing consular assistance to the family, who have requested their privacy be respected at this time.' 'It's understood the family is in New Zealand.'

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Post Sat Nov 01, 2014 3:57 am

Sign Maker Electrocuted, Pell City, Alabama

A Tuscaloosa man was electrocuted Thursday night while working on a store sign in Pell City.
St. Clair County Coroner Dennis Russell identified the victim as 38-year-old Jerry Henderson. The accident happened about 5 p.m. at the shopping center on Martin Street South.
Henderson and another man, both employees of a Birmingham company, were working on a Factory Connection sign, Russell said. Henderson was inside the sign when his partner realized he'd been up there too long.
He went up to check on him and found Henderson unresponsive inside. Henderson was pronounced dead on the scene.

An autopsy will be performed but Russell it was clear that Henderson had been electrocuted.

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Post Sun Nov 02, 2014 3:33 am

Local one for me. No injuries...but one hell of a big sign to drop off the wall.

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Car damaged after wind blows Comet sign off former Dundee store

Dundee was battered by strong winds over the weekend with gusts
reaching up to 70mph. Strong gusts also caused a sign from the former
Comet store at Kingsway East Retail Park to be blown off the building
and it landed on top of a car. Police attended the incident at around
10am yesterday, but nobody was injured, though the vehicle was
damaged. Ciaran Headridge tweeted a picture to the Tele adding:
“What’s the chances of Comet landing on your car!”

A spokesman for the Met Office said: “The winds reached up to 70mph
on Sunday, which caused some restrictions on the Tay Bridge."

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Post Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:56 pm

F@£$ that - I wouldn't want to be responsible for that one!!!
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Post Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:06 pm

We installed a large swing sign for a pub.

The panel failed and fell 20ft just missing someone. We and the supplier were very lucky, it really scared us.

The panel snapped where it bolted to the hanging bracket.

Upon inspection it was a inch wooden frame then covered in fibreglass.

The makers were very apologetic and remade again including a few mods my husband suggested, like metal straps and a safety chain.

It's now been up for 3 years.

But how long can the installers be held responsible for?


Early this year we got a job for a light box for a new takeaway. We thought it would be a simple fit onto the old frame. When my stepson set the scaffold tower up, upon inspection the frame had rotted too badly. He had to argue with the owner who insisted he fit it, he kept on saying it'll be alright. It was only when he climbed the tower to see it falling apart when grabbed by the hand. After much shouting the customer paid for us to pull the old facials down and replace with new timber, cost him another £500.
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Post Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:30 pm

Well done Denise it does take a shove in the right direction to get the right result sometimes. However more often than not the client just wants the new sign up disregarding any repairs that may need doing. The amount of times I've been told to 'ah just go over the top of the old one' without any thought whatsoever to the consequences that may just well happen. I advised a client very recently that he had to start over / go back to the building as he wanted me to cover up from what I could see during the site survey at least 5 layers of various elements of signage. I refused to continue until it had been done. It cost him loads to put it right but it now means that I can fix to a solid surface safely!!!
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Post Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:07 am

Thats scary stuff ! Presumably sign fitter's PLI applys to installations for a reasonable time but who would be liable if the sign was 20 years old and in poor shape, would liablity shift to the owner to maintain it after a while ?

P.S. Not sure what the relavence of Mrs Tuttons house value is in the first report ! I hate comments like that ! "Mrs Tutton lives in a £280,000 detached house...." so what !
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Post Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:08 pm

Stuart Wilson wrote:Not sure what the relavence of Mrs Tuttons house value is in the first report ! I hate comments like that ! "Mrs Tutton lives in a £280,000 detached house...." so what !


Because the sign maker only lives in a "£170,000 semi" so relatively scum, oh and foreign. Thats the Daily Mail for you (:)
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Post Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:13 pm

I'm fed up with facias to be honest, 90% of customers just want cheap tat put ontop of the previous tenants cheap tat, I simply don't bother with it any more!
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Post Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:44 pm

Will your PLI cover you?

BS559 states 10year service life unless you specifty otherwise.

How many insurers will pay out for a claim where a sign was installed nearly a decade ago???

What if the original company is no longer trading?

The only realistic way it would work is a scheme similar to FENSA where the installation is insured, and each installation pays the premium. If the company goes buat another FENSA company can be appointed, and as FENSA are independent the insurance is valid.

Now I've suggeates it how lpng before BSGA try rolling it out.
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Post Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:01 pm

David Hammond wrote:Will your PLI cover you?

BS559 states 10year service life unless you specifty otherwise.


What if you aren't operating to BS559 ? After all, there is no legal obligation to meet this standard if you choose not use BSI Quality methods.

Personally I can think of a great many reasons not to adopt BSI Standards.
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Post Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:48 pm

Phill Fenton wrote:
David Hammond wrote:Will your PLI cover you?

BS559 states 10year service life unless you specifty otherwise.


What if you aren't operating to BS559 ? After all, there is no legal obligation to meet this standard if you choose not use BSI Quality methods.

Personally I can think of a great many reasons not to adopt BSI Standards.


I would have to agree Phill, many standards are more about consistency & material tracking than they are about safety & quality.
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Post Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:48 pm

Phill Fenton wrote:
David Hammond wrote:Will your PLI cover you?

BS559 states 10year service life unless you specifty otherwise.


What if you aren't operating to BS559 ? After all, there is no legal obligation to meet this standard if you choose not use BSI Quality methods.

Personally I can think of a great many reasons not to adopt BSI Standards.


Phil
the problem would be that the courts are using the BSI as guidance when these cases go to court

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Post Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:22 am

Perhaps it is time that we all include a maintenance fee and an end-of-life dismantling fee added to the bill.
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Post Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:20 pm

I think there has to be an element of shared responsibility.
Like Phill said the BS standards aren't always the best thing and quality control doesn't guarantee HIGH quality just consistent quality.

If you fit a sign to a good facia but the facia it not fitted properly or it's fixings are rotten is it your responsibility when the sign and facia fall down?
You fit a sign to a rotten fascia and your fixings pull out and your sign drops on the floor, probably your responsibility, certainly some responsibility is yours.
You fit a sign and the sign or fixings fail and the sign falls on the floor (incorrect fixings, not enough etc), that has to be your responsibility.

I'd no idea that there was a 10 year life though, quite worrying and maybe we need to get the customer to sign saying they will inspect and check the sign regularly or some such thing.

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Post Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:31 pm

I'd no idea that there was a 10 year life though, quite worrying and maybe we need to get the customer to sign saying they will inspect and check the sign regularly or some such thing.

I didn't either until the court cases highlighted it & sure a great deal of other signmakers didn't either. But don't forget it's only 10 years if you don't stipulate otherwise, don't know the legality but maybe a standard 1 year warranty would be enough. I do think that you also need to include something to say that after that period the sign should be inspected on a regular basis, not sure if that should be under some sort of maintenance contract or what might be involved in any inspection, guess a lot would be to do with the type of sign.
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Post Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:54 pm

When I fit a sign I always ask the customer to keep an eye on it and to let me know if anything is worrying them.
I also point out that the fixing is only as good as the building behind and I've usually discussed the state of the fascia or wall before starting but I don't think I've ever given a lifespan for the sign, I say that it'll need checking every year and if any part comes loose it needs immediate attention but I don't think I've said it's got 1 years warranty etc.

I think I may start doing something though.

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Post Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:26 pm

I will copy and paste a post here that you will also see HERE that i made about 10 years ago.

10 years on and we are still faced with the same crap daily. should i have fitted sign number 8 and be the sign company responsible for it coming down on a child or should the 7 sign companies before me have considered doing their job correct in the first place?
I know some shake their head at my comments, but fact is, that old saying "the customer is always right" does not apply here. we are supposed to be the professionals educating the customer that something is not right and why it is not right. wave a bit of paper in their face asking them to sign all responsibility is on their head (pardon the pun) and watch how fast they reconsider.
no, dont do it for free or cheap to win the job, charge accordingly...

as simon mentioned...

Perhaps it is time that we all include a maintenance fee and an end-of-life dismantling fee added to the bill.


and why not, take full advantage... try and up sell on a yearly maintenance contract. if they dont want it, then fine, have them sign something that proves you have offered it but has been refused and future maintenance now lies with the customer after x-amount of years?

to try and keep this within this same thread ill paste my post from 10 years ago below.

---------------------------------

seeing as you are all probably fed up looking at vinyl work from me here is a shop front sign i fitted yesterday.
This isn’t a demo, but consists of about 10 pictures so give them a moment to let them load please…

Basically the spec I had on this job was simple.
Arrive with 3 di-bond panels, measuring about 75 inches high by about 52 inches wide, & fit them to a wooden “existing” shop fascia. I was advise to take some tools to remove old Foamex but to then simply silicon and screw the panels to the face of the wood. Easy! Or so I thought!
Its always the same... a customer will play down the work to save some cash... understandable but this one pushed their luck a bit too far.

Anyway... I arrived on site... looked at the job and thought furfu**ssake!
I removed a large V-shaped for sale sign…
I then removed a Foamex sign.
Below that was another thin plastic sign?
So I removed that too…
When I did the whole thing started to wobble and was clearly unsafe…
Out comes the owner and I explained... unless I rip this down it’s gonna kill someone sooner or later... he gave the knod and in I went again...
Down come the sheets of ply to expose. Yet another sign?
Takes down that signs boards and you guessed it another sign!
This time when I removed that one I actually found the signs backing board was in good condition and fitted well… so I thought im far back enough ill have to work with this...
As I pulled some bits away to the side I spotted behind that backing board was another sign!!!! As I laughed I said to the guy with me that’s number 6!!! He said no chance so I put my hand in and pulled it forward to show him it was behind it... as I did he said... your right… but look underneath that bit you’ve pulled up…????
Another sign!!! This time painted on the marble building and must have been at least 100 years old if not much more! 7 bloody signs all on top of each other... my first time ever seeing something like this…

Anyway... after getting the lot back to something more secure to fix to I went about
Making new frame extension to build onto the old one... cut up the large di-bond panels to create a sign not as deep... used the off-cuts to box in an old shutter box now exposed by me ripping the frame down. Edged the lot in 1x1 inch alloy angle and applied the flat cut letters…

You will see some, but not all the stages...
This was a bit of a nightmare to say the least, but in the end the customer was thrilled… my hands were cut to bits but I was happy enough with the result.
See pics below….

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Post Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:30 pm

This topic raised it head today when a customer rang and said he wanted the cheapest sign possible. But wanted it to last a long time.

My son said if a mechanic worked on a cars brakes and 3 years later the car crashed due to worn breaks, would the mechanic be blamed.
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Post Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:42 pm

Denise Goodfellow wrote:This topic raised it head today when a customer rang and said he wanted the cheapest sign possible. But wanted it to last a long time.

My son said if a mechanic worked on a cars brakes and 3 years later the car crashed due to worn breaks, would the mechanic be blamed.


Good way to look at it Denise, but i guess thats why cars have MOT's, and Services are regular, the cars also built with warning lights, so you/i/customer is at blame if ignored and an accident does happen as a result.
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Post Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:29 pm

In many respects this brings us back to the BSGA recomendations that I touched on in a previous post and what sort of documentation wwe should be providing to conform with EN 1090.
https://www.uksignboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=61149&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=bsga

I still have no clue what i should be providing as the BSGA suggests a full technical construction file should be provided whereas the manufacturer says his products are exempt.
BSGA says start using a different supplier !!
Thats easy to say but still doesn't help me know if these products are exempt or not.
How do we decide if a sign is safe or not?
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Post Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:04 pm

Deaths & near Death accidents, poor Signage installation

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A 12-foot aluminium beam fell from a billboard above the M&M store in Times Square Wednesday morning — injuring two tour bus workers below.


A contractor for Landmark Signs was working on a sign roughly 10-stories tall when he lost his grip on the metal beam and it plummeted to the sidewalk around 8:45 a.m.at Seventh Avenue and West 48th Street, authorities said.
Two pedestrians working for Big Bus Tours New York were struck by the tumbling debris and rushed to Bellevue hospital, but the extent of their injuries wasn’t immediately known, according to authorities.

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A Big Bus ticket seller said the injured men are named Goose and Nino. One witness, who was only three feet away from the metal beam when it fell, felt lucky he didn’t get hit. “I was scared. It was very dangerous,” he said. “I just saw a guy get hit, and he fell to the ground. There was nothing we could do.” Wet weather may have played a role in the accident, according to the Office of Emergency Management. A complaint was posted Wednesday morning on the Department of Buildings website referencing the incident.

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Post Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:34 pm

The sign firm here will pay out heavily for this. imagine the guy dropped a hammer or screw driver and it was a kid down below. :-?

I dropped a cordless gun a few years ago and it burst into bits. it was heavy enough to kill someone even only 20ft up. needless to say i in an industrial estate and i wasn't working anywhere near pedestrians, but still, it happens. the guy putting that bit of aluminium back in place on Time Square was probably using a gun to fasten it. :yikes:
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Post Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:51 pm

Definitely going to cost someone a lot of $, have to admit if working at any great height i tie my tools off to a 6mm rope/cord just use a loop and threadle back through so its own weight pulls it tight. I was taught this when engineering because once you had climbed up and down silos a few times because dropped spanners etc it just became second nature. Even small carabina's are handy for this purpose

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Post Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:01 pm

Re: Deaths & near Death accidents, poor Signage installation

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Waterstones sign fell and killed bookseller in Blackpool

Margaret Sheridan, 68, from Singleton, Lancashire, was pronounced dead at the scene after the Blackpool store sign fell on her on Monday evening. A Waterstones spokesman said she was "a much-loved and well-respected colleague". A joint investigation by Lancashire Constabulary and Blackpool Council is under way into the incident. It is unclear if the accident on Bank Hey Street was weather-related. Witnesses reported a sign at the front of the store had fallen off at about 17:30 GMT and Ms Sheridan was trapped underneath as members of the public tried to lift it up.

'Big crash'

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Witnesses reported a sign at the front of the store had fallen off and Ms Sheridan was trapped underneath

A shop assistant, who works nearby, said the street "is known for being a bit of a wind-trap". "It's a very, very windy street. It's not the first sign to fall down," said the woman, who did not want to be named. "I just heard a big crash and came over to have a look. "I said 'thank goodness no-one is underneath it'. And then I realised this poor lady was underneath. "It was very, very upsetting."

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The street is still cordoned off while investigations continue into how the sign fell

The street remains cordoned off while police continue their investigations. Councillor Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council's cabinet member for public safety and enforcement, said: "We can confirm we will be providing support to the police in their investigation into the tragic death outside Waterstones on Monday evening. "The investigation is now underway and as such we will not make any further comment on the circumstances of the incident at this stage. "Our thoughts are with the victim and her family at what will undoubtedly be a very difficult and upsetting time."

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Post Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:43 pm

Re: Deaths & near Death accidents, poor Signage installation

Looking at this "from the pictures". I would say it is down to the sign maker/s.
looks like an example of what i was talking about in my other reply. sign companies stacking the face with more signs. either that or re-sheeting it with plywood making the face heavier and heavier with only a continually deteriorating wooden structure to hold it in place.
do not get me wrong, i know the recent winds will have had aided its fall. regardless, there is no disputing the load those old fixings are taking has continually been increased over time.
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Post Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:29 pm

Re: Deaths & near Death accidents, poor Signage installation

In an ideal world it would be perfect to start from scratch with every job.

How on earth do you quote without starting to remove the existing sign(s)?

Just guess what lies beneath and then get undercut by those who don't give a damn about its safety?

Are we as sign makers really qualified to judge what's safe and not? Sounds more like a surveyors role, and they've the adequate professional indemnity insurance incase they do get it wrong.
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Post Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:26 pm

Re: Deaths & near Death accidents, poor Signage installation

David Hammond wrote:In an ideal world it would be perfect to start from scratch with every job.

How on earth do you quote without starting to remove the existing sign(s)?

Just guess what lies beneath and then get undercut by those who don't give a damn about its safety?

Are we as sign makers really qualified to judge what's safe and not? Sounds more like a surveyors role, and they've the adequate professional indemnity insurance in case they do get it wrong.


I get where your coming from David and agree with you most the way because I too am faced with this type of thing daily.
A way of looking at it is, would you apply new vinyl graphics over the top of cut vinyl text on the side of a van?
or, advise they will need stripped off, glue removed and cleaned, then re-lettered at extra cost?

I know its harder because you don't know what's behind the existing signage. But it should just be a case of...
You quote for your Sign listing all spec included. list the installation fee and the approximate time to install.
but also include "subject to existing framework condition once old signage has been removed" or something similar/better?
When measuring the job up, its easy enough to say to your customer "do you know what's behind that old sign... leading onto a bit of advise blah blah blah?"
if you have a smart-ass customer its always handy to remind him of stories from the list in this thread and who is responsible etc etc then once you do get the job and finish it, offer them a small maintenance fee to go out and annually clean and maintain the sign. its all up-selling yes, but you could end up with a nice list of local annual maintenance agreements in place taht will carry you through slow periods of the year like winter etc.
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Post Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:33 pm

Re: Deaths & near Death accidents, poor Signage installation

It would work with probably 10-20% of customers.

Most are just starting up, have a budget of zero for signage to start with and will go with the cheapest quote, they're not bothered about service life, maintenance contracts as they know the chances are they'll be out of business in 6 months.

To be honest we don't do a great deal of shop signage for that exact reason, and vet any enquiries before we even conduct a site survey. The number of wasted hours last year visiting sites, and quoting on top of the range signage when clearly they didn't even have a budget sufficient to cover basic artwork.
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Post Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:38 pm

Re: Deaths & near Death accidents, poor Signage installation

most signs don't require this sort of thing though David, I am talking more when your faced with what looks like a stacked sign or something that's not entirely stable.
to be honest, its a similar situation to anyone trying to sell a vehicle wrap. you need to educate the customer on what can go wrong in using the wrong media by an inexperienced installer, outlining why you are better than the competition.
yes you will lose the guy not wanting to spend more than £700 on a full wrap, but you/we don't want that type of business anyway as its simply not worth the bother.

please don't think i am rubbishing what your saying. i am not and fully agree with the situation your describing. i just think its the approach we take in these situation that may be wrong and in some cases "our own attitude" towards it can also be wrong. by that i mean, are we already accepting defeat by the customer before we even arrive, just by is thinking "they are never going to pay for this?" blah blah blah.
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Post Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:26 pm

Re: Deaths & near Death accidents, poor Signage installation

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Pitt St shut in both directions after Metro Hotel Sydney Central sign crashes to the ground

ONE of the busiest roads in the city has been shut in both directions just before rush hour after part of the sign from a high rise hotel fell to the ground this afternoon. Pitt St is currently closed in both directions between Campbell and Goulburn to pedestrians and motorists after a section of the sign atop the 10-storey Metro Hotel crashed to the ground, scattering debris in the street.

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Early reports suggest no-one has been injured and police say a number of contractors are on the scene attempting to ensure nothing else will fall. Emergency services are hopeful that the clean up operation should be completed soon. See livetraffic.com for updates. Currently, people are advised to use Elizabeth St or George St as an alternative route.

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Post Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:39 am

Re: Deaths & near Death accidents, poor Signage installation

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Center City workers and neighbors who crowd the busy sidewalk along the 1500 block of Chestnut Street were startled to see yellow tape blocking off the spot where heavy pieces of marble had crashed down. City officials say the marble peeled away from the building’s façade, raining onto the sidewalk around midnight when, due to the hour and bitter weather, fewer people were walking. Officials say no one was hurt.

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Back on January 27th, bricks rained down from an adjoining building, crashing through the roof of a business nearby in the 1500 block of Walnut Street and injuring three people. Officials say the building, whose owners were not available for comment, did not have any violations. As they removed chunks of marble for further analysis, they indicated that water seeping behind the stone then freezing loosened it, causing the partial collapse. It’s the same cause of the earlier collapse in January.

Watch on isigntube.com


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Post Wed May 13, 2015 1:57 pm

Re: Deaths & near Death accidents, poor Signage installation

Yet another tragic accident occurred today:-
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/576667 ... ing-London

Wonder who'll get the blame for this - the last person to paste a poster onto the bill board?
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Post Wed May 13, 2015 2:07 pm

Re: Deaths & near Death accidents, poor Signage installation

Wonder who'll get the blame for this - the last person to paste a poster onto the bill board?


I blame Richard he drove past it just after it happened taking photos - I think he knows more than hes letting on :D
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Post Wed May 13, 2015 10:44 pm

Re: Deaths & near Death accidents, poor Signage installation

Looking at the bolts and where the nuts are it does not even look like it was in a full course of bricks an the L brackets bolted to the steels by one bolt allows down ward movement (gravity) which then levers the bolts from the wall. Now it turns out no planning permission not that it would have ensured the correct installation was carried out. I have a feeling changes within the industry are on there way

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Post Thu May 14, 2015 9:26 am

Re: Deaths & near Death accidents, poor Signage installation

For any one who may be interested

Safety & Health Expo takes place from the 16 - 18 June 2015 at ExCeL London.

Should be lots of interesting stuff if you can take a day out

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Post Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:19 pm

Re: Deaths & near Death accidents, poor Signage installation

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A major clear-up operation was under way at one of Birmingham’s biggest shopping parks after a landmark sign came crashing down in 70mph winds. Workers sealed off part of the car park at the Fort mall, near Erdington , after the 150ft sign topped as Storm Barney hit the Midlands on Tuesday night. It added on Twitter: “We have the area secured and will keep everyone updated.” In a later statement, the shopping park said: "The force of Storm Barney unfortunately brought down The Fort Shopping Park Tower last night.

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"However, we can confirm nobody was close by or injured and there was also no damage to any vehicles." "The park remains open and all retailers will be trading as normal with vehicles being directed into the underground car park which has 700 spaces." "The area has been secured to enable the Tower to be dismantled and removed today."

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"The Fort Tower stood at approximately 150ft and has been a visual reference point for the out of city shopping park since opening in 1996." "It is the first time it has ever suffered any structural damage." The damage wreaked by Storm Barney’s 70mph winds sparked chaos across the Midlands as commuters faced a nightmare rush hour on Wednesday morning.

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